Columns

The Touch of God

March 18, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

I was looking for elk hide, enough to make a new set of buckskins for the Fort Bridger Mountain Man rendezvous. A banker friend, who looked like a 1920 fur trapper, recommended I “wander up to St. Maries, Idaho, and see my friend Lars Eidnes. He’s got more leathers than the Hudson Bay Company.”

That’s why I was standing in a fur trader’s warehouse among stacks of every kind of animal skin available in North America.

Thesaurus

March 18, 2017 / Seth Pierce

A couple years ago a man named Tom ruined the game show Jeopardy for everyone in the world. The question, or answer as it happens to be in the game of Jeopardy, posed to the contestants read as follows: In common law, the age of this, signaling adulthood, is presumed to be 14 in boys and 12 in girls. “What is puberty?” would have secured a correct answer and $400.

A Prophetic Question

March 11, 2017 / Martin Weber

In his stark and somber inaugural address, President Donald Trump vowed to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” Is this promise a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

"Better not speculate," someone warns. "Let’s stick with the safe and sure teaching of Ellen White. She said nothing about Islam related to end-time prophecy — so neither should we."

Protest

March 11, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

I wasn’t the only one. Countless children through the centuries had tried it and failed. I was ignorant of such odds.

As I recall, my mother had refused to grant some childish request, and I was as furious as a 4-year-old can be. But instead of throwing a useless tantrum, I stomped purposefully to my room and began to plan my escape from totalitarianism. Into a bag went several items of clothing, a harmonica and a stuffed animal.

“Where are you going?” asked my mother, who had quietly been watching from the doorway.

Full Circle

February 24, 2017 / Chad Angasan

It never ceases to amaze me how God uniquely works. Mary Klein’s story began in 1959, and my memories of my grandmother are still vivid and clear as if it was yesterday. When I would visit her, the aroma of fresh bread and caribou stew would fill my nose. After she came to hug and kiss me, I’d hear, “Go eat, beebe!” with her thick Native Alaskan accent.

Love poured from my grandmother to my mother, Cecelia; her two sisters, Marilyn and Linda; my cousins; siblings; and me. 

Creator

February 24, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

It was an image I’ll never forget, though it harkens back more than four decades. The sun was riding low in the west as I neared the iconic overlook to Yosemite Valley. On a clear day, the view stretches east from Bridalveil Fall in the foreground to the granite monolith of El Capitan and onward to the unmistakable wall of Half Dome.

This was not that sort of day.

Giving Jesus Away

February 17, 2017 / Seth Pierce

First, let me acknowledge that this is a Christmassy article that does not appear in the December issue of the Gleaner. This is because the story itself happened over the holiday, meaning there was no time to submit it to the appropriate issue. And, second, I enjoy annoying people who don’t like Christmas.

It happened in late November when my wife tried to get rid of — actually “give away” is a better term — a nativity set.

A Sanctuary From Racism

February 17, 2017 / Martin Weber

Each February, Black History Month provides opportunity to take a searching and fearless inventory of interracial attitudes and relationships. Americans of goodwill aspire to make 2017 a better experience than last year’s national turmoil.

Seventh-day Adventists can lead the way in our churches and communities. A deeper understanding of one core doctrine could help us. I’m referring to the sanctuary, a fundamental belief fallen into neglect after decades of legalistic abuse.

The Walrus Hunter

February 01, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

He was a hunter, a Siberian Yupik who lived in the village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island in the western half of the Bering Sea. An American, living 30 miles from Russia. A First Nation hunter, dying from the white man's disease, tuberculosis.

Many of the other villagers had also caught the disease. Most had died, leaving only a few healthy people in Savoonga.

Nathan Noongkook, hardly able to breathe, had reconciled himself to a wheezing death.

Clothing

January 13, 2017 / Seth Pierce

It is a cruel fact of life that clothes wear out — even the ones we like best. We sadly say goodbye to our favorite sneakers when they fall apart, grieve the miniature version of that special shirt that didn’t survive the dryer, and hold a special ceremony for that pair of jeans — broken in through hiking trips and ball games — that needs to be properly buried and mourned as we turn our attention to the epic quest upon us to find another pair. These quests intensify when clothing is needed for special events like weddings or interviews.